U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez looked criticism right in the face after writing a statement that didn’t sit well with a large number of people. Ocasio-Cortez wrote that the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in response to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks was “wrong” and “disastrous.” She also said that “non-intervention” should have been tried first.
Ocasio-Cortez has been quite silent about foreign policy ever since she took office in January, but on Monday she wrote several tweets to come to the aide of her ally, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, who recently made comments that some regarded as anti-Semitic. Omar has also been receiving criticism for questioning the alliance that the U.S. has with Israel.
“I remember a time when it was ‘unacceptable’ to question the Iraq War,” wrote Ocasio-Cortez, before she corrected that she meant the war in Afghanistan. “All of Congress was wrong, including both GOP & Dem Party, and led my generation into a disastrous + wrong war that all would come to regret, except for the one who member who stood up: Barbara Lee.”
Ocasio-Cortez also added that the U.S. should have stayed away from Iraq, and that “we should end the AUMF [Authorization for the Use of Military Force] now while we’re at it.” New York Democrat, U.S. Rep. Max Rose, who fought in Afghanistan and received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, had a few things to say to Ocasio-Cortez.
“I believe it’s long past time we end the war in Afghanistan, but I strongly disagree with the idea that the invasion was wrong on moral or national security grounds,” said Rose in an interview with the New York Daily News. “After our city and country were attacked we were very clear with the Taliban — either they give up Usama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, or we would come and get them ourselves. They chose to protect Usama bin Laden, and they rightfully paid the price,” explained Rose.
Once Ocasio-Cortez made her comments about the war in Afghanistan, a country that harbored Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden after the attack on 9/11, Ocasio-Cortez received a lot of criticism. But OC stayed true to her convictions and made the suggestion that the U.S. should have taken a different route to success, such as “non-intervention.”
“I think that our decision to enter unlimited engagement in Afghanistan, particularly through AUMF+Congress’ abdication of power+decision-making w/passage of the AUMF, was a mistake,” wrote Ocasio-Cortez. “Other options: targeting the network itself, limited engagement itself, limited engagement, non-intervention,” she added.
Ocasio-Cortez’s narrative of the war in Afghanistan is unlikely to be supported by even the most well-known anti-interventionist members of the Senate, such as Rand Paul of Kentucky and Tom Udall of New Mexico – who, while thanking the military for its continuous service, introduced a bill to finally end the war in Afghanistan. The bill will declare for a U.S. victory in Afghanistan and create a 45-day deadline to figure a plan to get all of the troops out of Afghanistan within a year.
After the troops are taken out of Afghanistan, the AUMF would also be repealed. Also, every single one of the 3 million military service members who served in Afghanistan would receive a thank-you bonus of $2,500. “Endless war weakens our national security, robs this and future generations through skyrocketing debt, and creates more enemies to threaten us,” said Rand Paul.
“For over 17 years, our soldiers have gone above and beyond what has been asked of them in Afghanistan. It is time to declare the victory we achieved long ago, bring them home, and put America’s needs first,” Rand Paul added.